Bus ride in Dubai with empty Nol card: What are your options?

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By Majorie van Leijen  www.emirates247.com

Imagine the scenario; you are on your way to that important interview, first day of work or meet up with friends. You hastily arrive at the bus stop just in time to catch the approaching bus. But as you step inside, the rejecting sound of the Nol card reader reminds you that the card is empty, and there is no vending machine nearby to do the top-up.

Although the scenario could be avoided, it happens all too often to the uninformed commuter. Throughout the emirate, there are 64 bus stations with purchase and top-up facilities. However, with more than 1,600 bus stops, many are lacking the facilities.

During the 45th Customers Council Session at Dubai Mall last month, the topic was raised by one of the participating customers. Why not provide onboard Nol card machines.

“These machines are provided in some bus stations and a study is currently underway to generalize them to the rest of stations,” answered Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA Licensing Agency cum Chairperson of Customers Council.

It has previously been suggested that the machine would generate onboard bus tickets. The fare of the trip would be calculated in response to the details provided by the passengers, and the ticket could be paid in cash.

Although these are concepts yet under study, it would be a welcome move to the public. Currently, embarking a public bus in Dubai requires a loaded Nol card. This is often learnt the hard way by commuters not familiar with the payment system or facilities on the selected route. More info

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